Am I supposed to feel bad for them?
Apparently the Republican House leadership did not appreciate the 54 conservatives that voted ‘no’ on the 3 week CR bill. It passed anyway, but the break by the 54 conservatives caused some top Republicans to lashed out at the dissenters. Their argument is that they weakened Speaker John Boehner’s position with Democrats. From The DC:
“It weakened Boehner. If he walked into [a meeting with Sen. Reid] and he said, ‘My party is unified and we are willing to go three more weeks and that’s it.’ Unity is a strength in this town and it shows how we’re not unified. So I do think there was a weakness on that,” said Rep. Jack Kingston, Georgia Republican.
The episode provoked furious anger from advocates for the party’s line, with GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy angrily confronting Pence in a members-only meeting before the vote.
One GOP aide unloaded on the conservatives, offering a more colorful view privately held by many other Republicans.
“These people aren’t thinking clearly. Their logic doesn’t pan out. They have NO plan. What concessions were they going to get if it failed? They were going to shut down the federal government over Planned Parenthood?” the source said, “It was totally reactionary. These people got elected to lead. Instead they got jerked around by the political equivalent of music critics. If these people knew anything about governing, they’d be in Congress, not lobbing bombs from the cheap seats and sending out fundraising emails.”
While on the other side conservatives cheer the support they were able to raise while claiming that they actually increased Boehner’s position:
Meanwhile, conservatives are basking in the success of peeling off 54 votes in a head-to-head battle against their party’s leadership. They also say the “no” votes strengthen, rather than weaken, Boehner’s hand.
The vote “marked a turning point in the debate as a growing chorus of dissent has made clear that a full CR must be negotiated in the coming weeks,” said Heritage Action Chief Executive Michael Neeham…Privately, the view is not unanimous. One liberal Democratic aide said he was surprised at the impotence of the Tea Party-backed rebellion.
“I think leadership is pushing them around right now,” the source said. “Who cares if they defect as long as it still passes?”
The argument by conservatives that the vote strengthened Boehner’s hand is that now, Boehner can tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama — if Obama decides to show up for the debate — his caucus won’t tolerate another short-term spending bill. The move puts a firm deadline on the end-game in the negotiations, forcing Reid to act, the rationale goes.
To answer the question above – no, I do not feel bad for the GOP leadership. They took a stand on a budget bill that ties into two issue key promises that Republicans made: repealing ObamaCare and reducing spending. They won the standoff so far, but it has been shown that Boehner cannot be Republican-in-Chief with his entire caucus. This is a good gut-check for the Speaker in my opinion. It is good for him to be reminded that there are things that some conservatives will proudly stand – their promises and what their constituents want.
Boehner is not the only Republican facing the pressure from conservatives. The Senate will have a tough time passing the CR as is. Currently five Republicans have vowed to vote against the CR and some other Senators are on the fence. Will it get the 60 votes needed? Probably, but not without a fight from Senator Marco Rubio. Here is a snippet of his op-ed on RedState:
Our country faces a brutal reality: for far too long, the federal government has been recklessly spending money it does not have. It is the reason we now have a $14 trillion debt that threatens to bankrupt our country and why, each day, our government borrows $4 billion – almost half from foreigners and most of that from China.
Despite the seriousness of this debt crisis, an absurd pattern has clearly developed in Washington. Last year, when they still controlled the House, Senate and White House, the Democrats failed to pass a budget at all…
The absurdity of what we have witnessed on the Senate floor is only eclipsed by the lack of leadership demonstrated by the White House, and a President who has been absent from this debate and even sent his lead negotiator on a five-day foreign trip.
All this has led to a very predictable outcome: Washington politicians of both parties scrambling to put together two and three week plans to keep funding the government, while not fundamentally changing the behavior that has gotten us into this mess to begin with.
I will no longer support short-term budget plans. While attempts at new spending reductions are commendable, we simply can no longer afford to nickel-and-dime our way out of the dangerous debt America has amassed. It is time our leaders in Washington wake up and realize that we are headed for a debt disaster…
Despite the lack of leadership demonstrated so far in Washington, we still have a choice. A government shutdown is entirely avoidable if the President steps up to lead and if politicians from both parties finally get their act together, pass a budget for the rest of the year, and move on to the real debate to save entitlements and tackle America’s debt crisis.
If we deal with these issues seriously and immediately, we can leave our children with a country better than the one we grew up in. If we don’t, we will be the first Americans to leave our children worse off than ourselves.